Buddhism Traditions | General

Buddhism: Eating and Diet

Specific meals for specific occasions vary considerably throughout the Buddhist world, but virtually all traditions in all countries share 2 basic dietary prohibitions: alcohol is typically prohibited (always for monks), being regarded as a clouder of reason; likewise, meat is typically not eaten. One of the most basic ethical principles in Buddhism is that which prohibits the killing of any other being; this principle fundamentally

Buddhism: Rituals

Puja, or “honour,” is a ubiquitous form of worship throughout the Buddhist world, most typically directed at images of the Buddha and the various Bodhisattvas and at the Buddha’s relics. Buddhists frequently make offerings to images, typically fruit but sometimes money, as a gesture of respect, as an act of renunciation, or, in some cases, in the hopes of some favour in return, perhaps happiness

Buddhism: Membership and Tolerance

The Buddha stressed several key issues with regard to membership within the Buddhist tradition: first, Buddhism was open to anyone, regardless of social status or gender (this would later become an issue within the Sangha, however, as women were excluded in at least some Buddhist schools); and second, that becoming a Buddhist was an entirely self-motivated act. Buddhism has always been a profoundly tolerant religious

Buddhism: Social Justice

It is imperative to understand that the Buddha set out for his quest for Enlightenment not out of a selfish quest for spiritual fulfilment but out of compassion and the burning desire to alleviate the suffering of all beings, and it is this fundamental emphasis on compassion that informs and orients the Buddhist sense of social justice. The number of Buddhist organizations addressing poverty and

Buddhism: Marriage and Family

Buddhist texts are essentially silent on the subject of Marriage: Although the Buddha did not lay out rules on married life, he did offer basic guidelines for how to live happily within marriage: Married people should be honest and faithful and avoid adultery. As for polygamy, the Buddhist laity are advised to limit themselves to one wife. In traditionally Buddhist countries marriage is a completely

Buddhism: Controversial Issues

Buddhists, if it is possible to generalize, tend to believe that most issues are decided by the individual or by the basic ethical guidelines that were first laid out by the Buddha himself and then subsequently elaborated on in the Vinaya Pitaka. One central tenet that informs Buddhist’s understanding of such controversial issues as capital punishment and abortion is the prohibition against harming any living

Buddhism: Cultural Impact

In contemporary Śrī Lanka a special class of monks is trained in such chanting, and recordings of their recitations are frequently sold as popular music, although the monks themselves have been careful to stipulate that this is simply a more effective means of transmitting the dharma and not intended for aesthetic enjoyment. Elsewhere, in Tibet and East Asia, different forms of chanting, sometimes with musical

Diamond Sūtra

The Diamond Sūtra is the popular shortened name of the Vajracchedikā Prajñāpāramitā Sūtra, a Mahāyāna Buddhist sūtra from the Prajñāpāramitā Sūtras or 'Perfection of Wisdom' genre. Translated into a variety of languages over a broad geographic range, the Diamond Sūtra is one of the most influential Mahāyāna Sūtras in East Asia, and particularly within the Chan (or Zen) tradition, along with the Heart Sūtra.